December 2018
Stories, News & Events from the District
Wishing You a Very Merry Xmas
& a Happy New Year!
It's been a big year for us here at the LCDC but we couldn't have done it without your support, so a big THANK YOU to you all ... for participating in our events & projects, & for being proactive in caring for your part of this beautiful & unique corner of Australia.

2018 Annual General Meeting

The final full Lower Blackwood Land Conservation District Committee meeting for the year and the 2018 AGM were held on Tuesday 11th December evening at the Augusta Hotel.

Our Executive Officer, Jo Wren, gave a round up of the year - so much achieved with projects, workshops, events, information services/resources and connections within the district all working toward a more sustainable agriculture community.

Congratulations and thanks to reappointed chairperson Tim Crimp, reappointed treasurer Bruce Hamilton and reappointed deputy Chairperson Barbara Dunnet.... and welcome to new management team member Lisa Chandler. 

We’re looking forward to a productive 2019!
Bio Security Alert
New invasive weed found in the South West - h ave you seen this plant?
This plant - seeds, berries and leaves - is toxic to both humans and livestock and can contaminate agricultural produce.

Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana)  has recently been found in the Balingup area. This is a new weed for Western Australia. A collaborative program to eradicate this weed is now underway with government and industry working together.
The aim is to control all pokeweed plants prior to them setting seed this summer.

DPIRD is asking all members of the local community to be on the lookout for this weed, and report any suspected sightings.

Pokeweed's most distinctive characteristic is showy purple-black berries which have been described as grape-like clusters (immature berries are green, turn white and then blackish purple).

Check Your Bait! 
A call out from Nature Conservation Margaret River. We need to take care of our native wildlife; sometimes poisoning rodents has unintended impact on our native wildlife and household pets. This year rethink how you control the pests in or around your household. If you are not sure about which bait to buy then give us or Nature Conservation a call.
In the Know!
Native shrubs, the new superfeed for livestock
A decade of research on native forage shrubs by The University of Western Australia and collaborators has found a multitude of benefits, suggesting native shrubs could be the new superfeed for livestock.

A range of native shrubs planted on UWA Farm Ridgefield, UWA’s 1600 hectare farm near Pingelly, has been the basis of this ongoing research that continues to uncover the benefits of introducing native shrubs into a mixed pasture grazing system.

Source: Media statement issued by The UWA Institute of Agriculture
 
Want more information about how to establish & manage fodder shrubs? DPIRD's Perennial Pasture's for Western Australia has dedicated a whole chapter to it.
Soil Science Australia - State Soils Snapshot 2018

The importance of soil health for both productive farming and a healthy environment was highlighted recently on World Soil Day with Soil Science Australia releasing a snapshot of some of the major soil-related issues in each State.

HOT ISSUES FOR SOILS IN WA: Salinity, erosion and regenerative agriculture Read more..

Why are fixing our soils so important? Notwithstanding some good farming practices supported by some good science, we are continuing to suffer from soil erosion and composition and a serious loss of soil carbon. This results in poor soil water holding capacity and compromised nutrient availability for plants. Changing weather patterns exacerbate the situation.

Much of our agricultural landscape remains under stress and the need to change our land management practices to restore the health of our soil is urgent. Regenerative landscape management technique s provide a way forward as they generally focus on integrated management of soil, water, vegetation and biodiversity and becoming more efficient in the use of natural resources. Learn more..
(Source: Soils for Life)
Upcoming Events
Save the Date! LCDC's Next Talkin After Hours Event
What? B enefits of Rhizobia and N fixation of organic Nitrogen   - Presenter Floyd Sullivan, Alosca

Where? Lower Blackwood LCDC Office, 403 Kudardup Road, Kudardup

When? Thursday February 7th, 4.30pm to 6.30pm

More details coming soon!
Holistic Management Course
with Brian Wehlburg

The course covers grazing management, financial planning, and setting a holistic context for your farm/business/family, among other things. It is such valuable knowledge for anyone interested in regenerative agriculture.


Where? Perth
When? Starting 30-31 Jan 2019

“Symphony of the Soil”
  Farmer’s Seminar & Retreat

Join Bee Winfield from Merri Bee Organic Farmacy & Brent Burns from Landsave Organics for 2 big days of practical soil building activities such as composting, worm farming and creating quality compost tea for broadacre. View tea under the microscope. See successful Permaculture strategies live

Where? Merri Bee Organic Farmacy, Nannup
When? February 9th and 10th 

Website Case Studies:
Check out our latest local landholder case studies on Soil Health, Water Health & Weeds Management
We know there is such a wealth of knowledge & experience out there amoungst all of you..so..
If you have a great story, just read a great book, tried a brilliant a piece of new technology, or any other piece of news that you think the rest of the Lower Blackwood Catchment community will want to know about then please share!

Contact Kate on 0414476015 or email kate.tarrant@lowerblackwood.com.au  
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Lower Blackwood LCDC | 9758 4021 | kate.tarrant@lowerblackwood.com.au | www.lowerblackwood.com.au